Maigret Goes Home
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Inspector Maigret returns to his boyhood home, Saint-Fiacre, where an unsigned note warns that a crime will be committed in the church on All Souls' Day. During the services, the Countess de Fiacre dies of an apparent heart attack but Maigret suspects foul play. "Baldick's translation is rather elliptical," PW said, "but Inspector Maigret makes his presence felt"; the final twist is "stunning." Simenon spins a masterful tale of aristocrats fallen on hard times and of a profligate son who in the final hour finds unexpected strength of character, regaining the dignity and the nobility of his ancestors. (Amazon)
One of the world’s most successful crime writers, Georges Simenon has thrilled mystery lovers around the world since 1931 with his matchless creation Inspector Maigret.
A phenomenal author and his phenomenal character Georges Simenon was by many standards the most successful author of the 20th century, and the character he created, Inspector Jules Maigret, who made him rich and famous, ranks only after Sherlock Holmes as the world's best known fictional detective. There is nothing commonplace about the life of Georges Simenon, and he and his works have been the subject of innumerable books and articles. The Maigret stories are unlike any other detective stories — the crime and the details of unraveling it are often less central to our interest than Maigret's journey through the discovery of the cast of characters... towards an understanding of man. Simenon said he was obsessed with a search for the "naked man" — man without his cultural protective coloration, and he followed his quest as much in the Maigrets as in his "hard" novels.
Although most of Simenon's work is available in English, it was originally written in French. Simenon was born and raised in Belgium, and while Paris was "the city" for him, the home of Maigret, he was 'an international,' a world traveler who moved often and lived for many years in France, the United States, and Switzerland.
Because he wrote in French, and for the most part lived in French-speaking countries, most of the books and magazine articles about him were written in French as well. Unlike his own books however, many of these have never been available in translation. Because Simenon lived to be nearly 90, and left a legacy of hundreds of books — from which more than 50 films have been made, along with hundreds of television episodes — there is much to collect, to examine, to display and discuss. (trussel.com)
M goes to Saint-Fiacre, his home town, after noticing a note that had been received by the Moulins police, and sent up to Paris, warning that a crime was going to be committed in the Church at Saint-Fiacre, during the first Mass on All Soul's Day. And in fact, before M's very eyes, the old Comtesse de Saint-Fiacre dies during the mass... of heart failure. M locates her missal, in which a fake newspaper story of her son's suicide had been planted. Her son, Maurice de Saint-Fiacre appears with his mistress, Marie Vassilief. He is broke, as usual, had come to borrow more from his mother. His mother's secretary/lover, Jean Métayer is quick to protest his innocence. The steward, Gautier, who lives in the house that had been M's father's, tells M that the Countess had been going broke as well, and that he had been paying many of her debts. His son, Émile Gautier, works in the bank in Moulins, where M verifies the state of the estate.
Maurice schedules a dinner, at which all concerned are invited, including the priest and Dr. Bouchardon, and Jean's lawyer. During the dinner Maurice promises that the murderer will be dead by midnight, and at midnight Émile shoots him, and then explains that he'd known he'd done it. But the gun contained blanks, and Maurice is quick to show that it was the steward and his son who had done the deed, which, however, was unpunishable as a legal crime. (trussel.com)
because he had caught a cold. It was the atmosphere which was crushing him. He felt personally affected by the drama, disgusted by it. Yes, disgusted. That was the word for it. He had never imagined that he would find his native village in such circumstances. Down to his father’s grave, the tombstone turned black, and he had been forbidden to smoke! Facing him at the other end of the room, Jean Métayer knew he was being watched and was trying to keep calm and even to put on a vaguely
Saint-Fiacre was looking at him. Beside him, staring at the carpet, the priest remained absolutely still, as if the slightest movement would have driven him away. What were the two of them doing there neither speaking nor moving? It would have been less embarrassing to interrupt a pathetic scene than to break into a silence so profound that the human voice seemed to trace concentric circles in it, like a pebble in a pool of water. Once again, Maigret felt conscious of Saint-Fiacre’s weariness.
a timid scratching at the door, the sound of an object being put on the floor, a furtive voice: “It’s half past five! The first bell for All Souls’ Day Mass has just been rung…” Maigret raised himself on his elbows, making the mattress creak, and while he was looking in astonishment at the skylight cut in the sloping roof, the voice went on: “Are you taking Communion?” By now Chief-Inspector Maigret was out of bed, standing barefoot on the icy floor. He walked toward the door, which was closed
town, who cast envious glances now and then at the count’s elegant suit. “That’s all! I would at least have liked to be in mourning for the funeral. There isn’t a tailor round here who would give me credit for a couple of days. At the bank, I was told that my mother’s account was frozen and that, in any case, the credit balance amounted to just over seven hundred francs… And do you know who gave me that agreeable information?” “Your steward’s son.” “Right!” He drank a mouthful of scalding
château where he was born and bred … You weren’t born and bred here, but that doesn’t matter… In this case, your position isn’t clear. The Saint-Fiacres have only one male heir… And the family fortune is rapidly disappearing bit by bit under the nose of that heir …The countess is behaving like a lunatic … Isn’t it time to save what’s left? “Now that’s as noble as anything in Walter Scott, and your case resembles that of Monsieur le Curé… “But there’s the opposite hypothesis to be considered